The next 52 Ancestors prompt is “Long Line.” I’m actually running a little late with this post, plus I took some liberties with the prompt and decided to write about a relative who led a long, interesting life. There are probably several in my tree that I could have chosen, but I decided to go with my grandfather’s first cousin, Laura Yeager Sampsell.
Laura was born in North Coventry, Chester, Pennsylvania on February 28, 1887 to Jacob John Yeager and Anna Elizabeth James. She died on January 22, 1981 in Norristown at the age of 93. She was their only child. Her father died of pneumonia in 1894, and her mother married a widower named John Quarry in 1902. John had four children from his first marriage giving Laura two step-brothers and two step-sisters.
Both of Laura’s parents came from prominent and well-to-do families. Anna (aka Annie) James was the eldest daughter of Charles James and Emma Ibach and sister to my great-grandmother Alice James Garner. The James family were millers and lived a comfortable life in Coventryville, Chester, Pennsylvania.
Laura’s father, Jacob Yeager, came from a prominent farming family in the area of Kimberton, Chester, Pennsylvania. Distant relatives run a Christmas tree farm as well as a pumpkin patch and a road-side store to this day on land passed down through the Yeager family.
Laura had an interesting work-life and career. In 1908, at the age of 21, she was listed in the local City Directory as a saleslady. In 1910, her occupation was manicurist and in 1912 through 1916 she was a hairdresser. But then in 1918 her occupation was listed as chiropodist. This was a term for foot doctor and would eventually be replaced (at least in the US) by podiatrist. In this era, a chiropodist did not have the training of a medical doctor. But there was some training and credentialing involved. Her 1981 obituary noted that she was a member of the Keystone Podiatry Society of Pennsylvania and the a life member of the American Podiatry Association — so she did have the amount of training required in her day.
About the time of her career shift she moved from Pottstown to Norristown and married Floyd Sampsell. He was a railroad engineer. Their first child, John Y. Sampsell was born in 1917, followed by another son Warren in 1919. Their youngest, Floyd Jr. was born in 1926, but died two years later in 1928 of Bright’s disease. Sadly, Warren died in 1937 of a pulmonary embolism and John in 1938 of pernicious anemia. It is hard to imagine what she went through at this time in her life.
Laura was also a bit of a mystic. My Mother tells several stories of Laura telling fortunes, predicting future events and sensing events that were about to happen. Though there is much more that could be written about Laura, I’m going to include a recent scrapbook page I made of her and leave at this for now. (The layout is made with a modified template from Anna Aspnes and the kit is “A Crystal Winter” by DayDreamDesigns.)